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Sometimes the simplest dishes can totally surprise you with heaps of flavour. There’s just 5 ingredients and 20 minutes between you and this fresh and delicious Creamy Courgette Pasta. This will be a new, affordable, vegetarian family meal favourite.

A big pan full of courgette pasta.

Often simple is best when it comes to pasta recipes, and this one ticks that box and then some. 

Creamy Courgette Pasta is made with so few ingredients, which means we can really taste what’s going on here.

With a lemony zest and a creamy shortcut sauce, the delicate courgette favour is then complemented by a little (I lie, A LOT) of parmesan cheese to bring this simple dish together. 

Whether you’ve got courgettes to use up in the fridge or just fancy a quick, healthy veggie dinner on this week’s meal plan, I urge you to give this no-fuss pasta recipe a try.

(It’s also a fantastic way of sneaking more vegetables in when feeding the family too…)

Why you’ll love this Courgette & Lemon Pasta recipe

⭐️ A perfect midweek vegetarian dinner

⭐️ Ready in 20 minutes, very few ingredients

⭐️ Budget-friendly and healthy

Spaghetti mixed with courgettes and parmesan for a quick dinner.

How we came up with this recipe

I absolutely love the two main bonuses about this recipe – that it’s made with versatile, tasty and easy-to-grow courgettes, AND it’s a quick and simple pasta dish.

Here I’ve used one of my favourite pasta shortcuts, which is using cream cheese, melted into hot freshly cooked pasta to form a simple sauce.

This recipe uses a store bought garlic and herb cream cheese for even more flavour – no chopping required.

More easy courgette recipes…

Courgette Pasta Ingredients notes

Ingredients for courgette pasta recipe laid out on a counter top.
  • Olive oil – Don’t use Extra Virgin here, just regular olive oil suitable for frying the vegetables in
  • Pasta – I love spaghetti or linguine for this, but you can use any you like
  • Courgettes – We’ve used fresh courgettes here whilst they are in season and really good value. Frozen would also work fine, just be sure to cook them for long enough for the water to come out of them
  • Garlic and herb cream cheese – Reduced fat or regular is fine
  • Lemons – You’ll just need the zest and juice here so buy unwaxed if you can
  • Parmesan – Grana Padano also works fine here and is a cheaper alternative. Grate this yourself or buy ready grated. If you are a vegetarian who does not eat cheese that contains rennet, use a vegetarian alternative

How to make Courgette Pasta

Courgettes in a pan for step 1 of Courgette Pasta recipes.

1. Fry the courgettes over a medium heat as per the recipe below, until they are soft and golden. Put the spaghetti on to boil whilst they are cooking.

Step 2 in the recipe for Courgette Pasta. Combine ingredients together and stir.

2. After draining the cooked pasta, combine with the courgettes and the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice of half the lemon, a little reserved cooking water and the parmesan. Season well, stir well, and add more lemon juice if needed.


  • Meat – You could add in meat if you like. Some crispy bacon lardons would be delicious in this. 
  • Extra veggies – You could also add in a few other complementary vegetables if you have them to use up. For example, peas or mushrooms. 
  • Frozen vegetables – You can add extra frozen vegetables to the pasta cooking water like I do in my classic Cream Cheese pasta recipe.
  • Chilli flakes – You could add a sprinkle in if you like a bit of heat.


In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or hob before serving.

You may need a drop of water to loosen the sauce up again.

In the freezer I’m not a big fan of freezing pasta as it can go quite mushy when defrosted and reheated. All that said, there’s nothing wrong with freezing for a lunch if you have leftovers, it’s just not quite as good as fresh or reheated from the fridge.

Top tip

Reserve some pasta cooking water

Before you drain your pasta, save a cup of the cooking water before it goes down the sink. You can add a little at a time to the dish when you’re stirring it together.

It helps to loosen up the ingredients and have a silky sauce finish – always worth doing this for any pasta dish that’s not overly saucy!


Is this a good pasta recipe for young children?

Yes, it’s perfect. Just omit the salt.

What is this dish traditionally known as?

This is my own version of a well-known dish in Italy using courgettes, which are known as ‘zucchine’. It’s often called ‘Spaghetti alla Nerano’ because it hails from the village of Nerano on the peninsula of Sorrento. (The courgette is sometimes deep fried.)

Do you have any other easy vegetarian pasta dishes?

I sure do! Try my Tomato & Basil Pasta, my Butternut Squash & Halloumi Orzo Bake, my Easy Macaroni Cheese or my Slow Cooker Feta & Tomato Pasta.

Is this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, if you use a vegetarian Parmesan cheese alternative.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 25 votes

Creamy Courgette Pasta {20 Minute Meal}

This vegetarian pasta dish is light, fresh and ready in 20 minutes. A simple but special midweek winner, Creamy Courgette Pasta is nutritious and super tasty.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 300 g Spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 kg Courgettes, Chopped into small cubes
  • 200 g Garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 1 Lemon, Zest and juice
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese, Grated (Or vegetarian alternative)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or better, a saute pan, over a medium to high heat. Add the courgettes and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • While the courgette is cooking, boil a pan of well salted water and cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions.
  • When the courgettes are softened and starting to blacken around the edges turn off the heat.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it BUT RESERVE A CUPS OF THE COOKING WATER!
  • Return the drained pasta to the pan, add the cooked courgettes, the cream cheese, zest of the lemon and the juice of HALF the lemon, the cup of water you saved plus Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
  • Stir vigorously until the cheeses are melted and everything is combined. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.


Courgettes – You could use frozen courgettes here but they will take slightly longer to cook until all of the water has evaporated.
Pasta – Use any pasta shape you prefer.


Calories: 589kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 26gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 605mgPotassium: 1004mgFiber: 6gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 977IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 433mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

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  1. 5 stars
    This is so delicious!!! I did add a few lardons that needed used though would be equally tasty without. Thankyou! So quick and super tasty

  2. 5 stars
    Another banger- thank you Sarah. Easy & delicious- where were you when my kids were young?😂 they’’ve left home now but life would have been so much easier with you around then! Xx

  3. 5 stars
    This dropped into my inbox this morning and I Made it tonight, it was so simple and quick to make. I did add a sprinkling of spicy Italian herbs to it.
    Definitely a winner in this house.